Previous article in this series: February 15, 2012, p. 232.

The life we believers now have in Christ is a life that is actually higher than that which Adam had before the fall. We have an everlasting, heavenly life. Such a life Adam outside of Christ never could have obtained. It could be enjoyed only in the last Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Everlasting life: A life that cannot be lost

There was a difference between the life that Adam had and what the Bible refers to as “everlasting life.” The life that is everlasting cannot be lost. Adam’s life was not everlasting, and he knew it. God made him very much aware of that fact when He told him that he would certainly lose his life on the day he ate of the forbidden fruit. He had a perfect life, it is true, but it was a life that could be lost at any moment.

The phrase “everlasting life” is used in both the Old Testament and the New Testament to refer to the life that we believers will receive when Christ returns: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Dan. 12:2).

Yet we are also said to have the beginning of everlasting life even now. Having been regenerated by the Spirit of Christ, we already now have a spiritual life that cannot end. Jesus preached this more than once: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36a). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:47).

Repeatedly our Lord has told us this, to assure us that already now there is a sense in which it is impossible for us to die. Christ has actually said this to us in so many words: “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:26a). “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death” (John 8:51).

The believer in Christ has a new living spirit, the life of which cannot end. So even now he has the beginning of everlasting life, while he waits for the Lord to return so that he can enjoy this everlasting life also in the body.

Everlasting life: A heavenly life

There is also another sense in which the life we have in Christ differs from that which Adam had before the fall. The Scriptures point us to this difference in the following text: “The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven” (I Cor. 15:47).

Adam’s life was an earthly life. As long as he remained obedient, he would continue to have that life. Yet it would have always remained an earthly life. Adam was of the earth, and would always have remained earthy. Heavenly life could be enjoyed only in the Lord from heaven.

Adam had an earthly life and was king over the earthly creation. Our Lord Jesus Christ has a heavenly life and is King over all things not only on earth, but also in heaven. It is into this Lord from heaven that we have been engrafted, and it is His quickening Spirit that we now have in our hearts. Directed in love by our heavenly Husband, we live and shall reign with Christ over all things forever and ever.

Such a life is clearly greater than that which Adam had before the fall. How amazing it is that we really have such a life! What a joy to think of what our Lord in heaven has accomplished for us, and for all His covenant people!